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The Top 10 Places to Have a Family Picnic in Rockland and Bergen Counties

The Top 10 Places to Have a Family Picnic in Rockland and Bergen Counties

Pack your favorite foods, grab a blanket, and head to one of these picnic spots in Rockland County to enjoy a family meal al fresco!


No matter how old your kids are—or you are for that matter—picnics are simple pleasures that everyone can enjoy. Grab a checkered blanket, your favorite picnic foods, and head to one of these best places to have a picnic in Rockland County and Bergen County, NJ. These spots typically also offer more than just picnic areas like breathtaking views, hiking trails, fun playgrounds, and peaceful lakes. Here are some of our local favorites.

Best Picnic Spots in Rockland County

1. Bear Mountain State Park

Route 9W North, Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain Park is just over the Bear Mountain Bridge. It offers plenty to do, so you can make a day out of the trip. Picnic and enjoy the views as you eat near Hessian Lake. Kids will love the old-fashioned carousel, zoo, playground, and open spaces where they can run. Drive to Perkins Memorial Tower at the top of the mountain. Here, you’ll get a view of the New York City skyline.

2. High Tor State Park

415 S. Mountain Road, New City

Put down your wicker basket as you take in scenic views of the Hudson River. The 691-acre park has two peaks—High Tor at 797 feet and Little Tor at 620 feet. They’re the highest peaks in the park as well in all of the Hudson Palisades. See the New York City skyline from the summit of High Tor, a striking landmark. Fun fact: High Tor was used as a signal point for colonists during the American Revolution and as an air raid watch point during World War II.

3. Tallman Mountain State Park

Route 9W, Sparkill

This park overlooks the Hudson River and Piermont Marsh. The park boasts a running track, tennis courts, walking trail, hiking, and picnic areas. Note: Picnic areas are open with a reduced number of tables. Picnic blankets are allowed but keep at last 10 feet apart from other picnickers.

4. Haverstraw Bay Park

21 Gagan Road, West Haverstraw

You’ll find covered and uncovered picnic tables at this 27-acre park on the Hudson River waterfront. The park houses a large gazebo in the middle of the field. Watch the kids run around the three playgrounds (each geared for different ages), fish at the freshwater pond, fly a kite on the field, or reflect at the Sept 11th Memorial & Patriot Garden.

5. Rockland Lake State Park

299 Rockland Lake Road, Valley Cottage

The kids may not want to stay at the picnic table or on the picnic blanket here. The park (located on a ridge of Hook Mountain above the west bank of the Hudson River) offers a new water complex featuring a 5,000 square foot, zero entrance swimming pool with diving boards, a spray ground, and two large water slides. Walk, jog, roller blade, or bicycle on the 3.2-mile, non-motorized use paved trail that goes around Rockland Lake.



Best Picnic Spots in Bergen County, NJ

1. Darlington County Park

600 Darlington Ave., Mahwah 

This 178-acre park contains three lakes on its pleasant location at the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains. Swim in two of the lakes with sandy beaches; the third one is for catch-and-release fishing. Picnic in the wooded picnic area (bring your own grill) or on the open lawns. Kids will love the new state-of-the-art playground. Or, get in a game of tennis, basketball, or handball on the courts.

2. Palisades Interstate Park

Along the Hudson River, Northern Bergen County 

The Palisades Interstate Park is about 12 miles long and half a mile wide and located along the eastern edge of New Jersey along the Hudson River. You’ll find 2,500 acres of Hudson River shorefront, uplands, and cliffs. The park boasts 30 miles of hiking trails, a scenic riverside drive, cliff-top overlooks, and historic sights. Use access ramps to the Hudson for crabbing, fishing, and personal kayaks and canoes. Sit at one of the four large picnic areas—Alpine Picnic Area, Englewood Picnic Area, Ross Dock Picnic Area, and Undercliff Picnic Area. A limited number of grills are provided in these picnic areas.

3. Van Saun County Park

216 Forest Ave., Paramus

You’d never know this park is close to busy Routes 4, 17, and 80, and the Garden State Parkway. Within its 146 acres, Van Saun County Park offers a range of activities sure to please the entire family. Popular attractions include the Bergen County Zoological Park, train, carousel, spray ground, and large playground. For picnics, take advantage of the pavilions with tables and picnic areas located throughout the park.

4. Pascack County Brook Park

150 Emerson Road, Westwood

When you arrive, you’ll notice the two picnic areas, playground, baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, pond, and other recreation features. But don’t let that fool you. When you venture into the natural area, you’ll be amazed at the abundance of birds, plants, and animals.

5. Saddle River County Park

660 Saddle River Road, Saddle Brook

This 577-acre part connects five park areas—Fair Lawn, Paramus, Ridgewood, Rochelle Park, and Saddle Brook. You’ll find picnic pavilions plus a path for biking, jogging, and walking. Have a tennis match on the courts, hit baseballs on the diamond, or climb on the playground. Your pooch can even have some fun in the off-leash dog area.


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Stacey Feintuch

Author: Stacey Feintuch is a freelance writer for print and online publications. She has written for ReadersDigest.com, BestofNJ.com, K health, The Boca Raton Observer magazine, The Bump, Care.com, Healthline, Highlights for Kids, HealthyWomen, and other outlets. She has a BA in journalism from The George Washington University and an MA in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She grew up in Morris County, NJ, and currently lives in Bergen County, NJ. A mom to two boys, you'll find her at the baseball diamond on the weekends. See More

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